Runny Butter: The Heartland Edition

Though our current agenda doesn’t resemble what we were doing on June 16th last year, we’re dealing with the same kind of oppressive heat. Here in central Ohio we saw 94°F and a heat index over 110°F. Humidity is off the scale, and today it’ll be even hotter and muggier.

We’ve seen rolling blackouts all around us, testifying to extreme conditions as well as the fragility of the power grid. The latter should have the full attention of every right-thinking American.

We expect a similar summer climate when we make The Move to The Mountain, of course — heat, humidity and wicked storms. We’re hoping to put systems in place to minimize their impact on our daily life, which itself will be much simpler. Just what we’ll do (and how quickly) will depend on time and resources.

In the big picture, I can’t help but be concerned about the state of the grid and the energy that flows through it. It’s beyond credible dispute that America and its economy run on oil, natural gas and coal, and yet the State is bent on killing our national ability to thrive. The current occupant of the Oval Office said this during the campaign:

“I want you to look in my eyes — I guarantee you, I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuels.

No more fossil fuels.

“No more drilling, no ability for the industry to continue to drill. It ends.

He’s kept those promises to the anti-American Left, and it’s destroying the country — which is, after all, the whole idea.

What’s most infuriating (to intelligent People, anyway) is that the regime is trying to mitigate the effects of wretched public policy with a communications strategy, equivalent to speaking English louder and slower and expecting a foreigner to understand. It blames Russia for waging war and oil companies for making money. It’s even stooped to shaming American consumers for complaining about five-dollar gas when “other countries” pay more.

Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary, summed it up:

“It’s not a communications problem. They have a policy problem, but they will not admit it. And it’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. They careen between ‘everything is great’ or ‘we can’t do anything about it.’ … It’s almost as if they think, ‘if we just keep talking about it, everything is going to change.'”

As I’ve said before, we have to get past the idea that these progressives are merely incompetent, This isn’t about messaging, and it’s not malpractice — it’s malice.


It must seem odd, in light of record-high gas prices and runaway inflation, that Deb and I would unload a pair of 2019 Toyota Tacoma pickups in favor of a 2015 Chevy Silverado. I mean, we went from V6 to V8, from a curb weight of 4,416 pounds to 5,278.

Ok, let’s talk about that.

I’ll start with the bottom line. It may surprise you to learn that there’s little difference in estimated fuel economy — 18/22 (20) for the Tacoma and 16/22 (18) for the Silverado.

In return for that 10% hit in mpg we’re getting 28% more horsepower and 45% more torque. (Horsepower-to-weight ratios are almost identical, while the Chevy’s torque-to-weight ratio wins by a country mile.) In addition we now have 40% more space, 46% more payload capacity and 44% more towing capacity.

The Tacoma, with its 21.1-gallon tank, could (by the numbers) take us as far as 464 miles. The calculated range of the 26-gallon Chevy is 572 miles, potentially a 24% advantage.

That said, in almost 50 years of driving I’ve developed an ability to wring maximum mileage from a gallon of gas — I take those EPA estimates as a personal challenge. For example, a couple of weeks ago I was able to get almost 24mpg (mostly highway) with an absurdly loaded Tacoma and 25mpg unladen.

I’ve done the same with four-cylinder motors, straight-sixes and yes, V8s. I have no doubt that I’ll be able to squeeze maximum fuel economy from this 5.3-liter engine.

So the perception that it’s inadvisable (read “dumb”) to move from a compact pickup into a big one right now doesn’t match our reality. Plus we’re going from two trucks to one, saving almost 50% on insurance, and from two leases to no monthly payments. It’s the definition of “no-brainer.”

Besides, size matters.


One year ago today we were still “moochdocking” at our friends’ homestead outside Bandera, totally lovin’ our American Life on that dusty Texas ridge and trying to stay cool.


Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon